There is something about William and Mary -Its Mason School’s Executive Partnership Program-

wm-logoI found Executive Partner (EP) Program the College of William and Mary offers for its MBA is appealing.

One of my colleagues gave me the list of world’s top 100 B-schools, and there I discovered WM’s Mason School of Business.

“We do something unique in higher business education. We call in the experts — our Executive Partners network,” the School claims on its website.

Mason School EP is a group of more than 100 senior business executives from more than 20 different industries who volunteer to the School’s program. The group consists of retired and active senior executives living in and around Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, where the college is located. The college town has the highest numbers of retirees per capita in the US that it makes sense the College zeroes in on the resources.

“Our Executive Partners know what’s under the hood of business — the nitty gritty — the nuts and bolts. They speak from deep experience. You’ll find them sharing their expertise in the classroom and with student clubs, serving on career panels, helping you with mock interviews, taking you on field trips to major corporations, and helping you hone that all-important two-minute elevator pitch,” the School says.

I know firsthand the impact of working directly with executives. For the last 16 months I have been working as an executive assistant to our company’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO). I witness management in action, critical and strategic thinking on display and business decisions on the making. The experience expands my knowledge. Previously, my expertise was limited to cellular radio planning and optimisation. Now I am exposed to Core and Transport Networks, Operation and Quality aspects of our Network, all are under the strategic guidance and supervision from my boss.

That is the reason this Program is so professionally attractive. It is said that experience is the best teacher, provided that you learn from it. Also, we would maximise our chance of success by having tutors who can guide us into the road of accomplishment. With EP, it can be both: coaches who have “been there, done that” sharing their insights and experience and are eager to volunteer their time to mentor students.

However, to be truly beneficial, the Program must be effective. To find out, I contacted two first year students (Class of 2015) of its Full-Time MBA Program.

“What do you mean by ‘effective’?” the first student asked me back.

“You got real value from their mentorship. Your perspective is enriched. You feel empowered by knowledge and wisdom they share with you.”

“Oh, there are many lessons we can absorb and learn from them,” he said. “Think about it: some of the EPs are ex-Directors of US big companies.

“The more active and proactive we are, the more we can learn from them. And by the way, you can also discuss and seek help from other EPs, not only your own.”

“Do you mean every student get his or her EP?” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “But, again, it depends on you. If you are a reserved person and don’t feel need assistance from others then the Program has no benefits for you.

“Overall, they are fun to be with,” he said at the end of our chat.

The second students said that her EP is very helpful for her self-development and academic progress in the last seven months, basically since she first arrived at the campus.

Further, she mentioned that she can also get assistance from other EPs. “There are more than 100 EPs to go for,” she said. She got advised in her start up and micro finance projects from two different EPs. Another EP, she said, enriched her knowledge on Brand Management. “He made the special efforts to come to the campus just to enlighten  me with this subject.”

“The point is: EP can be very helpful or not very helpful, it is up to you. If we are diligent and want to maximise those EP then yes, it can be very effective,” she concludes.

The fact that the program has been going on for 16 solid years is the testimony to the success and effectiveness of the Program. If you are considering a B-school then it is time to include Mason School of Business in your consideration because it has something unique to offer you.


(Jakarta, 03 March 2014)


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Julitra Anaada:

Born and grew up in Talaud Islands, the northernmost, and one of the remotest, parts of Indonesia.

He earns living in Jakarta, the capital.

All posts are his own work, unless stated otherwise. For non-fictional piece, the opinions are strictly personal views.

He can be reached at julitra dot anaada at

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